Haas 'here to stay' after 'big chance' Covid-19 would cause collapse

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Haas is "here to stay" following a "big chance" the team could collapse from the impact of Covid-19, Guenther Steiner says.

Before the start of the season, questions were already being asked over the future of the American squad, with owner Gene Haas unhappy at the costs of Formula 1 and the team's lack of performance.

That only got worse when the season was delayed by almost four months due to the coronavirus, costing the sport hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

However, that time was also used to come up with a wrath of changes, including cutting the original budget cap, delaying the all-new cars until 2022 and implementing other cost-saving measures, all of which Steiner says have kept Haas in F1.

“What have we done right? We survived, that's what we have done right,” he said looking back on this season last weekend.

"I think I'll leave it at that one. I think there was a big chance that we are not here anymore, and I think everybody pulled together, and we are here to stay.

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"All-in-all, maybe we haven't been good at the track this year, but I think we have been good for the future of Haas F1, and also for F1.

"As much as we think they don't need us, I think F1 needs people or teams like Haas F1.”

Steiner also praised the work done by F1 to put together a 2020 season, which included five new tracks and three circuits hosting doubleheaders for the first time in the sport's history.

"It was amazing that they pulled this one-off," he declared.

"After Australia, it seemed this thing will be over pretty soon, and it wasn't, it kept running on, and every day was a new day of bad news.

"So I think to pull off 17 races it's great that FOM got it done, but it's the same to be said about the teams that got it done, all of the 10 teams.

"It's difficult to explain, but after Australia, we were not aware of what was coming. We were thinking this will be over pretty soon, and it wasn't. I think they did the right things.

"We had a very interesting season on a sporting level, everything was good, except we didn't have spectators there, and we don't have the income.

"We kept the sport going. I wouldn't say [it was] a good year, but it wasn't a bad year, it could have been a lot worse.

"I think it was a great job from all the people at FOM to get all these races in."

Hopes are F1 will be back somewhat to normal in 2021, with a record 23-race schedule having already being proposed.